A Calgary outfitter is giving cyclists one of the most scenic views in the region in a road ride that will take them from Turner Valley to Bragg Creek and back this weekend.
It was the area’s breathtaking scenery that caught their attention, said MEC outreach co-ordinator Michael Heuchert.
MEC stores across Canada began organizing road rides two years ago and when the Calgary reps were looking for a location for their first ride last September, Heuchert said the choice was easy.
“Turner Valley and Black Diamond is a great place to hold something like this,” he said. “You are on the edge of the prairies and the foothills. You’ve got such a scenic ride.”
Road rides are recreational events that give avid cyclists a venue to ride with like-minded people. This weekend’s event provides a series of stations with water and snacks.
Participants begin their trek at the Flare ‘n’ Derrick Community Hall at 9 a.m. on June 8 and pedal their way to Bragg Creek and back for a 100-kilometre ride riding on Highway 22 and Secondary Highways 549 and 762. Heuchert said participants can choose a shorter ride of 60k.
“Our hope is to make it accessible to a lot of people,” he said. “Especially with road riding you really have that elite view from a lot of people. You don’t have to be that person. You don’t have to be wearing the Spandex and all of that.”
Hazel Martin, the Town of Turner Valley’s community events co-ordinator, said the road ride is a fitting way to increase Turner Valley’s profile.
“We want to be that hub for outdoor enthusiasts to come and play,” she said. “This way they get a sample of what Turner Valley is all about and then come back and spend a day.”
Martin said MEC isn’t the only one interested in Diamond Valley for its outdoor events this summer. Diamond Valley has also been selected for the Millarville Run to the Farmers’ Market Half Marathon on June 14 and the Enbridge Ride to Conquer Cancer on Aug. 10.
“We live in a beautiful place, that’s why they come” said Martin. “These activities are happening on a more regular basis and the more of these types of events that we can get coming to Turner Valley it only benefits us.”
Last fall’s MEC road ride brought 140 people from across the region to Turner Valley, and Heuchert hopes to see more this year.
While the cyclists pedal through the foothills, MEC representatives are inviting the public to try two stationary gold sprints for some friendly competitive racing and a fleet of new bicycles.
Road ride participants are expected to return to the finish line between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m.
Registration costs $35 and cyclists can register the day of the ride. For more information or to register go to events.mec.ca